Connect Transit will present proposed bus system changes in the Twin Cities to the Normal Town Council tonight. Council members will not be asked to approve the changes brought forward by the analysis at the meeting. The Transit Board will look more closely at the proposal at their meeting next month, with the final changes slated to begin in August.
The changes are part of a Comprehensive Operational Analysis and include redirecting and renaming routes. Two new routes, serving northern Normal and the area around the Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington, could also be added.
Speaking on GLT’s Sound Ideas in March, Connect Transit General Manager Andrew Johnson said the current system doesn’t make the best use of taxpayer resources.
“It’s very inefficient, in some cases, redundant [with] multiple buses running on the same stretches of road. It does not have good frequency i.e. how often the bus comes. And it generally is not very simple to use.”
Once a consultant completed the initial analysis of the system, Connect transit held listening sessions to hear feedback from both communities.
Adjustments being made in Normal could include the removal of bus services from part of the Blue E route. Johnson said that would displace 13 to 15 riders per day.
“It is an agonizing decision for transit management to take service away from an area, but the problem is, with that area, there is really no ridership potential going to that area there is really no ridership potential going from that area.”
Johnson said Show Bus and Connect Mobility would be able to pick up the slack in that area.